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|Title: ||An holistic approach to understanding the changing nature of organisational structure|
|Authors: ||Doherty, Neil|
|Keywords: ||Manufacturing resource planning|
|Issue Date: ||2010|
|Publisher: ||© Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Citation: ||DOHERTY, N., CHAMPION, D. and WANG, L., 2010. An holistic approach to understanding the changing nature of organisational structure. Information Technology & People, 23 (2), pp.116-135.|
|Abstract: ||Purpose of this paper
The purpose of the exploratory study, reported in this paper, was to revisit and critically reappraise the
impact of IT upon organizational structure, by exploring how the deployment of ERP, when
accompanied by a specific strategic orientation, impacted upon the host organisation’s structural
The study was initially enacted through a postal questionnaire survey of IT managers within a sample
of China’s largest manufacturing organisations. Follow-up interviews were then conducted with senior
managers, who had first-hand experience of working on ERP implementations, to help us more fully
understand the impact of ERP upon organisational structure.
The study found that the implementation of ERP technology and the strategic orientation of the host
organisation are both likely to modify the structural design of Chinese manufacturing organisations.
Moreover, it has been found the success of an ERP deployment is a stronger predictor of
organizational form, than the scale of the deployment. The results of the study would also suggest that
ERP is more likely to affect structural changes, when deployed in the presence of a complementary
‘Prospector’ corporate strategy.
This study provides clear new evidence that ERP is likely to have a significant impact upon
organisational structure, but, because of the complexity of the technology and the uniqueness of every
organisational context, we offer no simple prescriptions or panaceas, as to how it should be managed.
However, managers should be aware that an ERP implementation will almost certainly affect
organisational structure, and then take steps to ensure that such changes are carefully and proactively
What is original/value of paper
There is already a rich and established literature with regard the impact of IT upon organisational
structure. However, we would argue that by focussing upon ERP, by explicitly modelling the effect of
strategy and by taking a holistic view of organizational structure, we have been able to offer a far more
subtle view of the complexities of the relationship between IT and organizational structure, than prior
|Description: ||This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09593841011052138. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.|
|Version: ||Accepted for publication|
|Publisher Link: ||http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09593841011052138|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles (Business School)|
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